DISCLAIMER: This recap of Ted Lasso Season 3 Episode 8, “We’ll Never Have Paris,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Diamond Dogs! “We’ll Never Have Paris” is a fun nod to the line “We’ll always have Paris” in Casablanca. You know, because Ted obsesses over Michelle going to Paris in this episode. While it’s a weaker entry than last week’s stellar outing, “We’ll Never Have Paris” boasts plenty of gorgeous character moments, intriguing parallels and a few storylines that’ll undoubtedly lead us to the endgame. There’s a central theme of insecurity woven throughout the respective plots that makes them feel more connected than before. Everyone’s riding the Insecure Train.
This episode explores society’s sexualization of women, the topic of consent and the importance of privacy and bodily autonomy. It takes a firm stance in support of women who are the victims of leaks like Keeley is. None of that, “Well, if you don’t want that stuff out there, don’t take photos,” crap. Good on Ted Lasso.
I have a few gripes besides everyone seemingly acting out of character this go-round: I felt the locker room scene where the guys discuss the leaks is too long. I understand the desire to introduce more Richmond players into the fold, but it feels too late in the game for that. Similarly, I felt the Isaac/Colin scene was forced. Isaac wouldn’t yank Colin’s phone out of his hands. It appeared to be a flimsy plot point that led to Colin’s outing courtesy of Isaac. Isaac’s a good guy, though. Here’s hoping it doesn’t culminate in an uncomfortable situation for Colin.
Ready to delve into “We’ll Never Have Paris”? Let’s get to it.
We open with the Greyhounds on a winning streak. Rupert (Anthony Head) looks pissed (good). Jamie’s (Phil Dunster) twist on Total Football is paying off in spades, lifting Richmond fans’ spirits. Meanwhile, Ted (Jason Sudeikis) sits with Michelle (Andrea Anders) and Jacob (Mike O’Gorman) in The Crown & Anchor. Henry (Gus Turner) is too preoccupied with non-grown-up stuff. Henry asks for change. When Ted empties his pockets, he withdraws a green matchbook from Ola’s. I gasped when I first watched this scene. It’s kismet. It’s a Tedbecca soulmate hint. Potentially the red and blue magnets, too.
We learn Jacob is whisking Michelle away to Paris for a few days. Ted grins, but you can tell this knowledge is devastating for him. Next, Keeley (Juno Temple) wakes in bed with Jack (Jodi Balfour). Keeley makes a shocking discovery on her phone. This scene cleverly ties into Nate (Nick Mohammed) lying in bed with Jade (Edyta Budnik) while on his phone. He’s reading about Richmond’s string of successes. After she wakes, Nate asks her if she wants to have breakfast together. He also poses the “girlfriend” question but tries to play it like he doesn’t really care about labels (he does).
Then, Keeley spirals after she finds an intimate video she filmed was exposed via an internet leak. Jack vows to take care of it. At Richmond, Ted, Beard (Brendan Hunt), Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Trent (James Lance) observe while Henry and Will (Charlie Hiscock). Roy notices Ted’s down in the dumps and asks if he wants to talk about it. Look at my baby Roy — the growth. However, Roy retreats to his desk once Ted calls for an impromptu Diamond Dogs meeting. Higgins (Jeremy Swift) races against the clock to make it on time.
After officially initiating Trent as a Diamond Dog (my heart), Ted asks the fellas if Jacob taking Michelle to Paris means he’s going to propose to her. Higgins, Beard, Trent and Roy reassure him that it does not automatically translate to a marriage proposal. Meanwhile, Nate tries to kickstart the first “Love Hounds” meeting with two of his coworkers at West Ham. Rupert purposely didn’t attend because he’s Darth Rupert. Ted’s Diamond Dogs inspired Nate. Unfortunately, Love Hounds doesn’t last longer than a few minutes before Nate puts them to bed. I think Nate’s intentions were somewhat selfish here, and that’s why launching this group ultimately failed.
Later, Biscuits With the Boss is back on the daily menu as Ted drops his biscuits off for Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham). He asks her to hire a private investigator for him. Why? Because he wants the said investigator to look into whether Jacob will propose to Michelle. You know, normal stuff. Rebecca reluctantly agrees to help her
friend soulmate. Barbara (Katy Wix) hands Keeley a statement from Jack regarding Keeley’s scandal. Keeley reads it aloud, realizing she doesn’t agree with anything it says. She doesn’t want to express remorse or apologize because she’s not sorry. And she shouldn’t be. Side note: I love how Barbara’s affection for Keeley has grown with each episode.
Then, Isaac (Kola Bokinni), Colin (Billy Harris), Sam (Toheeb Jimoh), Dani (Cristo Fernández) and the other players discuss consent and privacy after learning about a major leak of prominent women’s private photos. Thankfully, the guys wholeheartedly believe women should have autonomy over their bodies and content. Privacy is imperative. Isaac orders his team to delete any photos/videos that could leak onto the internet. They soon discover that Keeley is one of the leak victims. Roy and Jamie exchange looks before the former walks away.
Next, Colin heads out of the locker room to delete his images. Of course, none of the players know he’s gay yet. Isaac, noticing Colin’s departure, storms outside and demands Colin remove anything that could become tabloid fodder. Isaac yanks Colin’s phone out of his hands, which feels rather uncharacteristic. That’s when Isaac learns that Colin is gay. Isaac gives Colin an expression consisting of a strange amalgam of shock and anger. Isaac walks away. I don’t believe Isaac is repulsed by the fact Colin’s gay; I think he’s merely upset Colin never told him about his sexuality. Let’s hope. My poor baby Colin. He didn’t deserve to be outed without his consent.
Meanwhile, Keeley hangs with Rebecca in the latter’s office. Rebecca advises her regarding the internet leak situation. She reads the statement from Jack and knows right away that it reeks of lawyer. Rebecca supports Keeley regardless of what she decides to do. Our besties hug it out, and Rebecca reassures Keeley that she’s “got her.” Don’t mind me; I’m just cutting onions while watching TV. Next, Keeley encounters Roy outside, where they have their first legitimate conversation since breaking up. Roy offers his support and apologizes that this even happened to her.
However, Roy puts his foot in his mouth by asking Keeley who the video was for. Oh, no. He instantly regrets what he said the moment the words leave his mouth. He apologizes again, but the damage is done. Keeley departs. Dude. That evening, Jack tells Keeley that she doesn’t have to share the lawyer-influenced statement on social media. Ted lies in bed with Henry and reads to him. Our titular coach asks the standard questions about school, homework and life. Henry’s now forming a band with the boy he used to bully, so that’s good. The conversation leads to the subject of Jacob. Ted wants to know if Jacob tucks Henry into bed and reads to him. However, Henry’s asleep at this point.
The following morning, Nate texts Jade. He’s thrilled with how their relationship progresses, even though Jade hasn’t defined it yet. Keeley models her new outfit for Jack. She plans to wear it to the fancy rich people event they’re attending later that day. Jack reveals she canceled it because she didn’t think Keeley would want to be around the press. Jack proposes they do something extra fun while dressed to the nines to make up for it.
Later, Beard cooks breakfast for Ted and Henry. Henry claims he wants to attend a football match even though it’s Ted’s and Beard’s day off. The only team playing is none other than West Ham. While at the match, Henry calls out to Nate, who appears surprised to see them. Beard makes sure to sport full AFC Richmond regalia to showcase his allegiance to the Light Side.
Meanwhile, Jack and Keeley play mini golf in their fancy clothes. Jack reunites with a friend and introduces Keeley as her “friend,” not her girlfriend. Uh-oh. Nate receives a text from Rupert about ensuring Ted won’t attend another match. Initially, Nate plans to brush it off, but he second-guesses himself (again). Instead, he thanks Rupert.
Next, Ted, Henry and Beard sit outside The Crown & Anchor while listening to a busker sing The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Funnily enough, right when he sings, “Remember, to let her into your heart,” Rebecca texts Ted. Y’all. The text says she has info. While Ted calls Rebecca, Beard gives Henry a history lesson, informing him about the origins of “Hey Jude.” He tells Henry it’s about a boy in the middle of his parents’ divorce. The song encourages him to “take a sad song and make it better.”
One could argue it’s also about Ted leaving Michelle by the wayside — a sad song — for Rebecca — to make it better. While on the phone with Rebecca, Ted asks what she found. Rebecca urges Ted to forget about Michelle. Strike her potential marriage proposal from his mind. She’s moving on, and so must he. Rebecca urges him to go sing “Hey Jude” with his son. Mercy buckets, Rebecca. So, he does just that. He rejoins Beard, Henry and everyone outside the pub to belt out a rousing rendition of a Beatles favorite. How cute.
That evening, Keeley and Jack get into a spat over her intimate video and statement. Keeley insists she doesn’t want to say anything. She shouldn’t have to apologize for doing what she wanted to do. However, Jack’s judgmental nature rears its head. She claims this affects her because she’s funding Keeley’s business. She refers to Keeley’s video as a “porno,” which it’s not. The footage being leaked isn’t Keeley’s fault. Jack decides to leave, and it doesn’t look like she’s returning. Good. This is a judgment-free zone.
Meanwhile, Jade urges Nate to celebrate West Ham’s recent win. Instead, Nate’s scrolling through an article about Ted appearing at the match. Jade acknowledges Nate as her boyfriend, making our wonder kid the happiest wonder kid in all the land.
Later, Jamie appears on Keeley’s doorstep. He apologizes for the video leak, claiming he didn’t delete the video from his phone in time. Sure enough, she sent it to him when they were dating. Jamie takes responsibility for his actions here. He’s holding himself accountable. My boy is evolving. Jamie also admits he didn’t strike it from his phone initially because he thought Keeley was only dating Roy to get back at him. Keeley reassures him that it’s all water under the bridge. They embrace. Dunster’s performance is so sincere in this scene. Beautiful.
Next, Michelle and Jacob return to London after their whirlwind trip to Paris. When Michelle grabs Henry’s luggage, Ted examines her hand, noticing no engagement ring. Ted stands near the window and watches the trio depart. Michelle catches him staring.
Here’s my theory: Keeley will end the show single. As much as I love her with Roy, she’s spent almost every second of the show in a relationship. I think her separate storyline is meant to help her grow as an individual without a significant other. Whereas Rebecca’s lived independently and is comfortable alone, Keeley needs a dose of that. They’ll switch places. On a similar note, Jack’s behavior sucked. She ostensibly has some internal misogyny she needs to work through.
I love the parallels between Nate and Keeley in “We’ll Never Have Paris.” Not just structurally, as in the external setup in their scenes, but story-wise, too. Both grapple with partners who decide to define their relationships. Nate also mirrors Ted in this episode, but he’s been doing that all season. His “Love Hounds” crashed and burned, though. Nate’s tendency to second-guess everything profoundly resonates with me. I hope he can find the strength to stand up to Rupert someday. His knee-jerk reaction when Rupert texted him was to brush off the Ted situation. In reality, I don’t think it bothered him. However, he fears Rupert. Rupert’s the stern father figure he doesn’t want to disappoint. This show has lots of daddy issues.
Some folks acted out of character in this episode: Ted, Roy, Isaac, and, initially, Keeley. Thankfully, Keeley stood up for herself. Ted gets his head on straight after Rebecca talks sense into him. Here’s hoping Roy and Isaac regain their footing. That said, Roy asking Ted if he wanted to chat about what was bothering him is growth personified. I hope that development remains.
Have you noticed that Ted and Rebecca wear fewer layers in “We’ll Never Have Paris”? Could that be because they’re opening up more to each other? Hmm. Regardless, we’re getting more hints toward their inevitable coupling in the next four (sob) episodes. This show is the pinnacle of Rom-communism. It’s happening.
“We’ll Never Have Paris” isn’t a perfect Ted Lasso episode. It’s bogged down somewhat by a few unnecessarily long scenes (mainly the locker room one) and one particularly forced scene that doesn’t need to exist. I’ll try to stay hopeful as we head into next week’s outing in that regard, but I fear the show will play into a trope we’ve seen countless times when a gay person is outed by their friend who may struggle with internalized homophobia. We’ll see.
Besides that, it’s well-acted, as usual, with notable performances from the always-sensational Juno Temple (who finally gets to shine this season) and Phil Dunster. Nick Mohammed also delivers fine work. Like Mohammed, Jason Sudeikis continues to play “awkward” so well. It’s a heartfelt episode that’s not quite as humor-heavy as “The Strings That Bind Us,” but it provides a few chuckles. It moves the narrative forward steadily.
Ted Lasso drops new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.